Glassware: As with all IPAs the aroma is the key to enjoying the beer fully. This beer is most definitely heavy in aroma. The Spiegelau IPA glass is perfect and if you are an IPA lover you should own one already. A snifter glass will also work, just sit back and enjoy the phenomenal aroma!
Description: Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am pours a slightly hazy golden orange with a frothy off white head that leaves a thin layer of lacing on the glass. The aroma is absolutely incredible and is evident from the second you crack the cap on the bottle. Strong notes of fresh oranges emanate from the beer with a big punch of citrus from the hops with backing hints of sweet malts and just a touch of dankness from the hops again. The taste is surprisingly smooth and not as bitter as it would appear from the aroma. The sweet citrus notes hit the palate first with notes of oranges, grapefruit, lemons, lime and hints of passion fruit followed by a sticky sweet malt bill that keeps the bitterness in check.
Wham Bam allows the hops to shine without treading into the hop-water category. The alcohol heat is present, but very subtle without detracting from the beer. The full body and moderate carbonation are perfect for the beer and allows the flavor to shine through. While most beers with a high ABV are rarely described as crisp and refreshing that is what Wham Bam is. It’s a great IPA for those looking for one with a warming quality
Food Pairing: Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am is a big beer and would easily overpower lighter dishes such as salads or fish. However, it does have some light qualities and this makes for a surprisingly delicious pairing with many brunch items. Try pairing Wham Bam with huevos rancheros, the spices will gravitate toward the hops while the sweet malts keep the spices in check for a wonderful late-morning pairing, especially on a lazy weekend day. The high ABV could certainly lead to a less than productive day after brunch.
This is also a great beer to have with any barbecue staples and goes perfectly with barbecued chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs and spare ribs. The sweetness of the sauce will melt into this beer with the spices combining with the citrus flavors that will truly elevate the barbecue sauce. Most IPAs, even those with a touch more sweetness than others, do not make for great dessert beers however Wham Bam does. Try pairing it with a fruit based dessert like a tart or a lemon meringue pie, blueberry cobbler, or simply with a side of your favorite vanilla bean ice cream.
The Final Word: Susquehanna Brewing Company is a staple in the local market. When SBC first opened its doors they brewed up some classic ales and lagers with a strong nod to the family brewing history. The brewery has continued to build on its history and has expanded into some wonderful beer recently and with many craft drinkers looking for big and bold beers. SBC has answered the call with Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am. This hop forward triple IPA is not shy on the hops and the kick of citrus allows the full flavor of the beer to shine through. While this is certainly not a beer for those who not familiar with the bitter quality of IPA’s it is a beer that every hop lover must try.
Derek Warren is a beer fanatic, avid homebrewer and beer historian. Derek can be heard weekly on the Beer Geeks Radio Hour at noon on Sundays on WILK 103.1 FM with past episodes available on iTunes.
Brewer: Susquehanna Brewing Company
Beer: Wham Bam Thank You Ma’am
Style: Imperial American IPA